In recent years, antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which is the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections such as cellulitis, have emerged and are creating a serious public health concern. If we are to develop therapies that provide an alternative to antibiotics, greater understanding is needed of the immune response to Staphylococcus aureus skin infection.
Lloyd Miller and colleagues, at the University of California at Los Angeles, have now provided new insight into this by studying a mouse model of the condition. Specifically, they found that the immune molecule IL-17 has an important role in controlling Staphylococcus aureus infection in the mouse skin.
The authors therefore suggest that therapies aimed at inducing IL-17 responses in the skin may provide a new approach to treating individuals susceptible to Staphylococcus aureus skin infections.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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